Globally, diarrheal and respiratory infections are responsible for more than 24% of deaths in children aged less than 5 years. Historically, these disease entities have been studied separately; recent evidence suggests that preceding diarrheal disease may be a risk factor for subsequent respiratory illness. We used data from a community-based, prospective randomized trial of maternal influenza immunization of 3,693 pregnant women and their 3,646 infants conducted in rural Nepal from 2011 to 2014. A case-crossover design was used to determine whether the risk of respiratory infection in the 30 days following a diarrheal episode was increased compared with that 30 days prior. Diarrheal illness was a significant risk factor for subsequent respiratory illness in infants but not in women during pregnancy or in women up to six months postpartum. Diarrheal illness and respiratory infections remain important global sources of morbidity and mortality, and our study supports a causal relationship between them in infants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases